View Feedback

View previously submitted feedback (before October 27th, 2016)

Displaying 1 - 25 of 144

September 24, 2017

My concern about the Science learning outcomes is that they were written or revised by authors who have limited experience in the teaching of college science courses for the following reasons. In the sciences, students typically take a theoretical course, referred to as lecture, and a complementary practical course, referred to as lab. These two course types typically cover the same topics, but the emphasis of learning in these two courses is very different. The rubric assumes that experiments are conducted in each science course, which would include lectures, along with data collection and statistical analyses and more. This is unrealistic, not only because of time constraints in lectures, but also because of lack of a budget to purchase equipment to conduct experiments in lectures. In addition, lecture rooms are not equipped to deal with OSHA regulations.
On the other hand, there is no mention of the importance of learning how to apply scientific theory to real life. This would be one example of an absolute essential emphasis for a lecture class.
It is unrealistic and naive to expect that both lecture and lab courses, which are often considered separate science courses, can each cover all that is listed in the rubric UNLESS we seriously water down the topics that are traditionally covered and UNLESS we also reduce the number of topics. This, in my opinion, would go completely against what the whole goal is of revising the gen ed college requirements.

Type of feedback

  • Outcomes

Feedback is being provided for the following Outcome Document

Science

September 22, 2017

I have been teaching communication for 20+ years and I was surprised that the Communication Outcome did not have anything dealing with the Interpersonal Skills that every student needs to achieve in order to productive in the workforce. There are numerous studies that would support the need for communication skills as they relate to the interpersonal nature of communication. This outcome seems to only focus on the English portion of communication.

Type of feedback

  • Outcomes

Feedback is being provided for the following Outcome Document

Communication

September 22, 2017

I don't understand the thinking behind decreasing the requirement for communications, especially in composition courses. Students should be required to take 9 credit hours of composition/writing courses (non-English majors) in addition to 3-6 credit hours of communication (speech, etc.). Decreasing the required number of hours sends the message to students (and the community) that being able to communicate clearly and effectively is not nearly as important as math and science. It also sends the message to graduate students interested in pursing teaching positions in higher education and faculty that the work they're doing is not valued by the institution. As a graduate student working on a PhD in Rhetoric and Professional Communication (in the English department) and as someone who holds a B.A. in English, a B.A. in Mass Communications, and an M.A. in Literature, this new model reflects how little the university supports writing/composition curriculum, faculty in the department, students pursuing graduate degrees in the field, and most importantly the undergraduates who will need to know how to write clearly and communicate effectively in order to be successful in their future endeavors.

I recommend (to the powers that be) that you spend some time talking to the graduate assistants teaching first-year composition courses about the challenges they face, and maybe even observe a class or two for yourself. Meeting the course objectives in a 16-week (1 semester long) English 111: Rhetoric and Composition course that really should be divided into 2 required courses (111 and 112, perhaps) is challenging, but can be done. Additionally, students should also be required to take a 200-level writing course and ideally, a 300-level course that helps prepare them for writing in their major. Combining English courses with communications courses is problematic, but to decrease the number of required credit hours from 9 to 6 is detrimental to student success, especially when students are more likely to take the "easy" class and avoid any type of writing class. Most undergrads (in my experience) hate writing and would not choose to be in a writing course if they were offered another option. That, in and of itself, is a major issue that must be addressed and decreasing the number of composition courses isn't the answer.

Type of feedback

  • Models

September 22, 2017

Communication skills are *critical* to a university education and an engaged citizenry. We expect students to demonstrate these skill throughout their collegiate experience and take them with them to their communities and professions. As scholarship on teaching and learning writing shows, developing these skills takes time, practice, and instruction. Moreover, many communication skills require the cognitive capacity of young adults (rather than adolescents), which means students to work on their communication skills in post-secondary settings. With our current model (requiring 9 credits), faculty from across campus articulate the need for stronger writing and speaking from their students. While these faculty can and do incorporate assignments into their classes that require students to practice these skills, they cannot replace their own curricula with communication curricula. It would be irresponsible to reduce our general education communication requirements from 9 to 6.

Type of feedback

  • Models

September 22, 2017

I'll reiterrye what three other faculty have already said about the need to reexamine the communications requirements. It is essential that students take at least two composition courses. As it is designed now, it would be possible for a student to only take one during their college career. A writing class teaches students about addressing various audiences, forming arguments, using critical thinking, and citing sources, all crucial skills necessary for success in completing degrees and essential in the job force. Please consider demarking composition and writing classes from other forms of communication classes. Grouping composition with communication means students will have to make a choice to invest in writing courses versus oral communication courses. When they should should have support to develop both. At minimum, students should take two composition courses and two communications courses.

Type of feedback

  • Models

September 22, 2017

It is utterly important that our students take at least 3 communication classes, with at least 2 composition classes. Knowing our population, I believe that our gen ed system is the last chance we have to get our students up to national standards in writing.

Type of feedback

  • Other

September 22, 2017

Six credits of Communications is insufficient for students in NM (and beyond). Students would only be required to take two Communications courses (among 2 writing courses which most need) and 1 speech course (which they also need). We should change this to a requirement of 9 credits. All disciplines (and employers who hire students from these disciplines) share the same concern: students need to improve abilities to communicate in writing and speaking - for specialized as well as lay audiences, for a range of purposes, and in a range of genres.

Type of feedback

  • Models

September 19, 2017

To All Committee Members,

The committee's focus on outcomes is commendable and appears to be heading in the right direction. Achieving 21st century learning outcomes for the masses graduating from NM higher education have the potential to create life long learning perspectives for its graduates. The next step in this curriculum development project just gets harder as administration and faculties start penciling the instructional design that adequately reflects the outcomes, but also the unique institutional missions, program outcomes, faculty expertise, and leadership throughout academic affairs. So far so good, but curriculum development and instructional design is much harder.

My basic concerns center around the alignment of the model and outcomes to the preparation of teachers, administrators, and counselors in NM. After reviewing the many pieces of feedback I still have not seen concerns or questions addressing the central themes of teacher education. I would expect that the following concerns would be addressed by the members of this committee that also know the special preparation needs of teachers. They should also be addressed collectively by the deans, directors, or coordinators of teacher education programs approved by the NMPED. The concerns are listed below.

1. The NMPED has adopeted the Common Core State Standards for 100% of its pk-12 curriculum. Has the committee aligned the outcomes to the CCSS that indicate the essential skills coming from our high school graduates. This alignment is critical in the successs of students in higher education but also support the outcomes in dual credit or advanced high school credits. IS THERE DOCUMENTATION OF THIS ALIGNMENT?

2. Teacher educators are required to pass the NES Essential Skills I, II, and III. These essential skills tests are built to reflect the general education outcomes of higher education. Success is these tests indicate the quality levels assoiated with teacher candidates which is a high priority by teacher education accreditation. The alignment of the general education outcomes in NM to these Essential Skills is critical. IS THERE DOCUMENTATION OF THIS ALIGNMENT?

3. The NMPED requires content area knowledge that exceeds the general education core hours. For example the additional hours in math for elementary teachers is built around k12 math standards that covers not only mathematical and statistical knowledge and skills but also provides the pedagogy to support emerging learners from pk-8th grade. There are other additional general education requirements in all other areas including communicastion, humanities, sciences, etc. These hours are not just necessary for the depth and breadth of content knowledge, they also lead the teacher candiates toward the specific pedagogies in teaching in those disciplines. WHAT IS THE PLAN FOR INCORPORATING, ALIGNING, REVISING, OR ELIMINATING THESE ADDITIONAL GEN ED COURSES?

4. Teachers require a combination of two skills areas mentioned in the outcomes; CRITICAL THINKING AND PERSONAL AND SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY. It is important to project that neither critical thinking or personal and social responsibility could ever develop the deeper and broader aspects of critical pedagogy. If you combine critical thinking and personal and social responsibility, then you create a necessary skill educators call critical pedagogy. Critical pedagogy is synonomous to social justice, critical literacy, and other descriptors but simply recognizes that inequality is deeply embedded into societal structures. Educators are ethically committed to change this through educational reform. HOW CAN ACADEMIC DEPARTMENTS ACCOMODATE THESE CRITICAL SKILLS FOR TEACHER CANDIDATES?

5. I have professed for 4 decades that universities in general are ignorant (as in denialism) to the needs of preparing teachers. The "one size fits all" mentality of administration demands that degree hours, advising protocols, faculty loads, rigitity of scheduling, class sizes, course rotations, promotion, tenure, field work, and other factors make relational pedagogy difficult at best if not impossible. If a future teacher cannot experience personal, individual, relational, and meaningful instruction and feedback throughout their college careers, then how can we expect them to go out and reverse the "one size fits all" and "kill and drill" culture that still permeates pk-12 education and universities. WHERE DOES THIS MODEL DEMONSTRATE THE COMMITTMENT NEEDED TO ADEQUATELY PREPARE FUTURE TEACHERS WHO WILL CHANGE THE ONE SIZE FITS ALL STATUS QUO? Or is it being denied again, and again, and forever.

These concerns only address those of a specific focus in teacher education. I have confidence that other professions in business, the sciences, agriculture,, fine arts, and all other majors in any university can list their discipine concerns that are also aligned to the unique missions of their institutions, etc. This raises another concern for those colleagues and programs. HOW DOES THE COMMITTEE ADDRESS THE GENERAL EDUCATION NEEDS OF ALL DISCIPLINES' NEEDS ACROSS ALL UNIVERSITIES?

I don't know about the rest of you, but the complications of curriculum develop and instructional design aligned to all sets of disciplinary standards and expectations for the universe of NM graduates gives me a headache. I hope you have a group of members who really know the knowledge, skill sets, and dispositions to keep the curriculum process on the right path to completion, evaluation, and continuous improvement. Seriously, good luck!

I look forward to your response,

Respectfully,

Jerry Harmon
Professor of Education, ENMU
Former Dean at WNMU and ENMU

Type of feedback

  • General Feedback

September 19, 2017

My primary concern is the statistical analysis component (under Experimental Techniques). For the 100 and 200 level sciences students often don't have a statistics background to do that work. I have them do simple ratios and percentages in some of the entry level sciences but I don't think that would qualify based on the way this is written. You are assuming they've completed a certain level of mathematics prior or concurrent to a science course and I think that might change degree programs and completion rates significantly.

I've also commented before about the other "written and oral" component. How will the "oral" component be demonstrated in both a large lecture class and / or a distance learning class? The only "oral" example listed is presentations. In a large lecture class that would consume a big chunk of time and therefore greatly reduce the content we teach. In some cases that is fine but in classes where they need that knowledge for the next level it poses a real problem. Also, what is your example for a distance learning class which is now a large part of our offerings?

Type of feedback

  • Outcomes

Feedback is being provided for the following Outcome Document

Science

September 18, 2017

I'm very concerned that Art History faculty who are going to be teaching our current gen ed Art Appreciation course (which at our college and most other colleges is a lecture course) are going to be required to have students create a work of art. This is not a practical practice for a course taught in a lecture based classroom (not a studio). At most institutions this course is also offered on-line. How will an on-line platform work in relationship to creating a work of art like a drawing, painting or sculpture?

Type of feedback

  • Outcomes

Feedback is being provided for the following Outcome Document

Creative and fine Arts

September 16, 2017

The component skill of creating art does not pertain to the theory based courses in the discipline of Art History.

Type of feedback

  • Outcomes

Feedback is being provided for the following Outcome Document

Creative and fine Arts

September 15, 2017

I like the idea that a course in a second language will meet a general education requirement. However, I recommend replacing the term "foreign language" with "second language".

Personal and social responsibility is not typically a learning outcome of general-education science courses. If this will become one of three learning outcomes in science courses, then one third of the science content in the GenEd science courses will have to be deleted, to make room for this new outcome. Personal and social responsibility would be better to include in a course in the social and behavorial sciences or humanities. It could also be included in a communications course. (That's how I was taught.)

Type of feedback

  • Models

September 15, 2017

I think it is very disconcerting that communication is only 6 hours. Communication skills are the most important soft skill employers seek. This current model would mean either dropping one composition course or one communication course. Either is not a good direction in terms of preparing students for employment.

Type of feedback

  • Models

September 14, 2017

Hello -
Thank you for the opportunity to provide feedback. I'm curious how disciplines (or specific courses) will be mapped onto the skill categories. As a specific example, there are portions of psychology as a discipline (and specific classes within a typical psych major) for which the outcomes for the social and behavioral sciences are most appropriate. There are other areas of psychology as a discipline (and specific classes within a typical psych major) for which fit the outcomes for the sciences are more appropriate than those for the social and behavioral sciences. This has implications for Introduction to Psychology, a common General Education course. In order to represent the discipline, a typical Intro Psych course emphasizes both social and behavioral sciences outcomes and science outcomes. Will there be some flexibility (perhaps at the institutional level) regarding which set of outcomes is most appropriate for a given General Education course?
Thank you for your time,
Dr. Laura Madson
Associate Professor
NMSU Psychology Department

Type of feedback

  • Other

September 14, 2017

I am happy to see this new model, which is indeed simpler than the earlier versions.

My only concern at this point is the way in which the additional 9 hours will be implemented at each particular institution. Of course it is not within the purview of this committee to decide that, but I will still voice my humble opinion...

Since we are asked to reduce the number of credit hours for graduation from 128 to 120, a burden is placed on many science and engineering programs to fit into 120 hours and still meet the needs of our students and satisfy the requirements of accreditation agencies. So, I hope that some or all of the additional 9 hours can be within the major program, as long as the courses can be shown to meet the content and skill requirements.

If the additional 9 hours cannot be within the major program, then the implementation of this model for many science and engineering programs will be counter-productive.

Type of feedback

  • Models

April 18, 2017

I count 41 members: http://provost.nmsu.edu/state-wide-gen-ed/members/. Not 37. Not a big deal, but I think you might want to update the site.

Type of feedback

  • Other

February 23, 2017

I think these outcomes are more specific than the current state outcomes and easier to operationalize. I think the two areas --social behavior versus belief--and how various factors influences those two realms is clear, and I could assess these easily in most of my courses. The third outcome regarding social issues is the most well-aligned with my current courses.

I personally take a more general approach that is not so different from the content areas:
Typically in my classes I try to get students to 1) accurately identify and describe key terms and problems/debates in social science, 2) effectively summarize evidence for arguments, 3) Identify and incorporate credible sources, 4) critically evaluate arguments, and 5) apply knowledge

Type of feedback

  • Outcomes

Feedback is being provided for the following Outcome Document

Social and Behavioral Sciences

February 21, 2017

As a librarian and someone who has been very engaged in Information Literacy efforts throughout my career, I generally agree with the identified skills and outcomes to achieve at a minimum for this set of essential skills in the general ed requirements.

While the description of the model clearly states that the essential skills must be integrated into courses, I don't think this can be emphasized enough, and what that will mean in terms of approaches to teaching, and the cooperation and collaboration between instructors and area experts that will be necessary in order to achieve those outcomes.

Type of feedback

  • General Feedback

February 21, 2017

With regards to the model itself, I think it is heading in the right direction; however, the picture is not complete until it is determined which courses will count as gen ed, and what the numbering system and outcomes for those courses are going to be to guarantee seamless articulation state wide.

Type of feedback

  • Models

February 21, 2017

Regarding the General Education Planning Worksheet, this looks like it is aimed at students. I question whether or not students, especially incoming freshmen are going to be able to understand the intricacies of the essential skills to be able to complete the worksheet without feeling like they are in over their heads. Who if anyone, will be explaining this to them?

I feel that the marriage between the essential skills and the content area courses needs to be accomplished behind the scenes and not left for students to have to figure out.

Type of feedback

  • General Feedback

February 21, 2017

I am concerned about the wording in the Creative and Performing Arts section. My fear is that the implication to legislators and other entities who decide the fate of the arts will see this as primarily applying to the visual arts. I would suggest substituting either "visual and performing arts" for all occurrences of "art" in the text, OR using "the arts" clearly defined in an explanatory note that the term includes all of the visual and performing arts (art, music, dance, theater, and film).

Type of feedback

  • General Feedback

February 21, 2017

Would it be possible to have a committee of Academic Coaches (advisors), Achievement Coaches, and registrar personnel test the model using real student data from a variety of schools? Maybe start with 12 cases in various states of transferability (eg., 100% completed AS, AS with one courses needed, AA with 3-5 courses needed, AA half completed.... same pattern with students transferring from out of state...same with students transferring between 3-4 different schools). A different faculty person for each institution would need to label each course with Content Area and Essential Skills areas in order to simulate the potential differences in course placements on the the matrix.

Once that data is present it would be easier to evaluate the questions:
1) Is the model feasible?
2) Does the model allow decent transferability between NM higher ed institution?
3) Does the model complicate transfers from out of State?
4) When students transfer between institutions do they genuinely have an education reflective of the Gen Ed core?
5) Does the proposed model provide data that represents the values of the Gen Ed core that is assessable?
6) Will accrediting agencies find any issues with the model and assessment data?
7) How will faculty potentially document these outcomes and skills?
8) Is the model too flexible? Too inflexible?
9) What clarifications to model interpretation need to be written into the documents prior to dissemination?
10) What issues do the advisors, coaches, and registrars anticipate with implementation of the model?
11) Will additional advisors and registrars need to be hired to accommodate students needing help or is it feasible to operate the model with current staffing levels?
12) If this model is designed to address NM business/employment needs, what do the various industries think of the model and rubrics?

Similar approach for the rubrics for each Content and Skill Area would be valuable. They should be beta tested for usability and interpretation by faculty who were not involved in the construction of the rubrics.

Type of feedback

  • Models

February 17, 2017

I believe if the charge of this steering team was to come up with a skills-based model, the current model falls short because it is really a content-based model that can be cross-walked to a set of 'essential skills.' The problem with this is that in some cases, course instructors could end up having to conduct and report assessment on two or three different essential skills (each with multiple rubric criteria) as well as a content area (also with multiple rubric criteria). And, in some cases, those same instructors might be having to conduct assessment related to degree and/or certificate program student learning outcomes. It is difficult enough to obtain compliance with the current assessment requirements. Adding multiple levels of reporting could cause the assessment process to collapse.

It appears that mapping the course outcomes to the essential skills outcomes and the content area outcomes would be extremely complex. If each institution were left to its own devices for this, then the transfer core would lose its role as a unifying guide to ensure consistency across the State. Yet, it seems unlikely that all institutions would agree to a mapping that resulted in course outcomes having multiple referents for assessment.

I would suggest that most of what the team is trying to accomplish with this model could be accomplished more directly and communicated more clearly using a somewhat more conventional approach: one that uses the essential skills to define the areas and lists course options that can be used to address those areas. I am pasting an example below. Obviously, the course lists would have to be developed further after the common course numbering system is implemented. However, this model encompasses all of the current courses included in the NMHED Gen Ed transfer core (any omissions were inadvertent) and would call for inclusion of additional courses to accommodate the Information Literacy area. While this approach does not identify some courses as introducing the skills and others as reinforcing them, I believe it nonetheless provides opportunities for introduction and reinforcement to happen as they currently do, as part of the natural process of exposing students to diverse content. (I am having difficulty getting any formatting of the text to stick, so please contact me if you would like a more easily understood layout. I am unable to paste an image.) I hope the steering committee will consider something like this:

PROPOSED ALTERNATIVE MODEL USING ESSENTIAL SKILLS AS OVERARCHING CATEGORIES / DISTRIBUTION AREAS

To meet the State of New Mexico’s lower division general education core requirement for an AA, AS, BA, or BS degree, students must complete 31 credit hours of general education course work distributed among 5 essential skill areas, as follows:

Communication (6-9 credits)
Choose at least 3 credits from the following:
ENGL 1113 (The course titles would be listed.)
ENGL 1114 (The course numbers shown here reflect the NMHED numbering system in the current cross-walk. Once the common
ENGL 1123 numbering system is in place, these would be updated and expanded.)
ENGL 2113
Choose at least 3 credits from the following:
COMM 1113 GERM 1114
COMM 1213 GERM 1124
FREN 1114 SPAN 1114
FREN 1124 SPAN 1124
FREN 2113 SPAN 2113
FREN 2123 SPAN 2123

Quantitative Reasoning (3-6 credits)
Choose at least 3 credits from the following:
MATH 1113 MATH 2113 (These include statistics courses currently in the core.)
MATH 1114 MATH 2114
MATH 1613 MATH 2123
MATH 1614 MATH 2133
MATH 1623

Critical Thinking (7-10 credits)
Choose at least 4 credits from the following laboratory science courses:
ASTR 1113/1111 CHEM 1214
ASTR 1114 CHEM 1223/1221
BIOL 1113/1111 CHEM 1224
BIOL 1114 ENVS 1113/1111
BIOL 1123 GEOL 1113/1111
BIOL 1213/1211 GEOL 1114
BIOL 1224 GEOL 1214
BIOL 2413/2511 PHYS 1113/1111
BIOL 2414 PHYS 1114
BIOL 2423 PHYS 1123/1121
BIOL 2424 PHYS 1124
BIOL 2513/2411 PHYS 1213/1211
BIOL 2514 PHYS 1214
CHEM 1113/1111 PHYS 1215
CHEM 1114 PHYS 1223/1221
CHEM 1213/1211
Choose at least 3 credits from the following:
ARTS 1013 ENGL 2513
ARTS 1113 ENGL 2523
ARTS 2113 ENGL 2613
ARTS 2123 ENGL 2623
ARTS 2213 ENGL 2653
DANC 1013 MUSI 1213
ENGL 2313 MUSI 1113
ENGL 2323 MUSI 1413
ENGL 2343 THTR 1013
ENGL 2413 THTR 1113
ENGL 2423

Personal & Social Responsibility (3-6 credits)
Choose at least 3 credits from the following:
ANTH 1113 POLS 1113
ANTH 2213 POLS 1123
CRJI 1113 POLS 1213
ECON 2113 PSYC 1113
ECON 2123 SOCI 1113
GEOG 1213 SOCI 2113
SOCI 2213

Information Literacy (3-6 credits)
Choose at least 3 credits from the following:
(Appropriate courses would be listed here.)
(This category might include some courses not currently in the core.)

Type of feedback

  • Models

February 17, 2017

This is the 21st Century. Computers are not going away. Technological advances happen thousands of times each day and people are needed to program, understand, troubleshoot, and work those computers. It is imperative that Technology Literacy be included to give this country a leg up on competition. Businesses are global and the US would become a laughing-stock if we cannot keep up and compete with others around the world in the latest technological advances. Everything runs on computers - our defense systems, medical equipment, traffic lights, our cars...everything. Please do not hinder the progress of our students and cripple their chances of being successful by saying that this is not important....it is critically vital to our success and well-being as a nation and as individuals. Qualified teachers are waiting to help them and show them the way to not only personal and professional success, but to show them how to be global, cutting-edge, competitive, and miracle-workers. Business departments have programs that show students how to be entrepreneurs and compete in this global market - and we can't do it on a liberal arts degree. Thank you for your consideration.

Type of feedback

  • Outcomes
  • General Feedback

Feedback is being provided for the following Outcome Document

Technology Literacy

February 17, 2017

The main thing that concerns me is what seems like an over-reliance on credentials for instructors. This seems to be a general trend that I have seen in other institutions. In a university setting, at least, I think the tendency is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of how higher education works. I'm speaking from the perspective of an engineer, but I suspect this is true for every university major.

While courses faculty took at some time are important, their function was to provide a foundation upon which faculty members could continue to learn and adapt as the world continually changes. Specifically, those who hold doctorates completed around 18 hours of research and demonstrated their ability to learn by contributing to the growth of knowledge in their chosen area. That is, each one would have become, possibly briefly, the leading expert in some topic and demonstrated a capability in some technique, knowledge, process, etc., without learning it in any course or from anybody.

The dissertation is important in that by successfully completing it, candidates demonstrate an ability to learn significant material on their own. It is also expected that, after obtaining the doctorate, these people will continue to learn and discover new material in the course of their careers. This is especially true today because of the rapidly-evolving nature of technology. There are many professors who are teaching material that they did not acquire from course work, but discovered or developed on their own. Virtually every new engineering professor creates a new course based on his or her research. These courses explore new topics and help new generations of researchers gain the tools to push the boundaries of knowledge back even further. Again, I suspect this is the same in all colleges and departments.

I encourage the committee to consider all evidence of knowledge and capability, rather than limit consideration to completed coursework.

Thank you for your consideration,

John Mullen

Type of feedback

  • General Feedback